A blessed Christmas and Happy New Year to all the citizens of Hong Kong!
The Bible tells us that when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East saw his star and followed it to find Jesus, the Lord and Saviour.
Today, Hong Kong and our Motherland manifest a number of shining stars, for example: all the nameless heroes who have responded to the recent appeal of our Holy Father to protect the unborn from abortion, and the newborn from infanticide; Liu Xiaobo, who is in prison for promoting human rights, as well as Zhao Lianhai for uncovering the truth about the tainted milk scandal; clergy from the underground Church who are behind bars for defending religious freedom, as well as clergy in the open Church who were forced to participate in an illegitimate episcopal ordination, and to attend the Eighth Catholic Representatives Assembly in sorrowful protest. I have great respect for all of them. I hope and pray that they will soon be set free, and enjoy their civil rights and freedom of belief, so that they will be able to make an even greater contribution to society and our nation will enjoy an even greater international reputation. Then God’s Kingdom of justice and peace will soon be realised among all the people.